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Full text of "Mathura A District Memoir"

74                                       LOCALIZATION OF LEGEFDS.
!a-ban at Great Bathan covers 723 acres ; the rakliya at K&mar more thaa
1,000; and in the contiguous villages of Pis&ya and Karank the rakhya and
Jcadamb-khantM together amount to nearly as much. The year of the great
famine, 1838 A. D., is invariably given as the date when the land began to be
largely reclaimed ; the immediate cause being the Dumber of new roads which
were then opened out for the purpose of affording employment to the starving
population.
Almost every spot is traditionally connected with some event in the life of
Krishna or of his mythical mistress Badha, sometimes to the prejudice of an
earlier dlvinitv. Thus? two prominent peaks in the Bharat-pur range are crowned
with the villages of Nand-ganw and Barsana : of which the former is venerated
as the home of Krishna's foster-father Nanda, and the latter as the residence
of Eadha's parents^ Vrisha-bhanu and Kirat.* Both legends are now as impli-
citly credited as the fact that Krishna was born at Mathura ; while In reality,
the name Nand-gamv, the sole foundation for the belief, is an ingenious substi-
tution for jSTandisvar, a title of Maha-deva, and Bars ana is a, corruption of
Brahma-stum, the hill of Brahma. Only the Giri-raj at Gobardhan was, accord-
ing to the original distribution, dedicated to Vishnu, the second person of the
tri-murti, or Hindu trinity; though now he is recognized as the tutelary divi-
nity at all three hill-places. Similarly, Bhau-ganw, on the right bank of the
Jamuiia, was clearly so called from Bhava, one of the eight manifestations of
Siva ; bat the name is now generally modified to Bhay-ganw, and is supposed
to commemorate the alarm (t>hay) felt in the neighbourhood at the time when
Kanda, bathing in the river, was carried off by the god Yaruna. A masonry
landing-place on the water's edge called Nand-Ghat, with a small temple, dat-
ing .only from last century^ are the foundation and support of the local legend.
Of a still more obsolete ccltus, t>i«., snake-worship, faint indications may be
detected in a few local names and customs. ThuSj at Jait, on the highroad' to
Delhi, there is an ancient five-headed Kaga? curved ia stone3 by the side of a
small tankt ^Mch occupies the centre of a low plain adjoining the village. It
stands some four feet above the surface of the ground ? while its tail was sup-
posed to reach away to the Kali-mardan Ghat at Brlnda-ban, a distance of seven
miles, A slight excavation at the base of the figure has? for a few years at
* Ktnfc is ibe only name popular!/ known ia the locality ; IB the Padm*> Piatana it sp|«saft *
IB hi more correct form m Kirttida: ia ihe Brahma Valrarta sli© Is called Kalavati. It may aiio
fee mctttioiiea that Viiaha-bhiun in always pronounced Brikh»bhan.
f TM» tank VM fe-exca¥^ted u a famine relief work in the ya» W6 at a cost of S*. § 757.